Thursday, February 6, 2014

Why BeastPedia?

It's been about a month since I resumed posting on this blog.  Since then, I've updated about forty times -- something I never thought would happen.  At first, I thought every day would be the day I'd quit -- the day my schoolwork took priority, or the day I got bored, or the day I just forgot.  I didn't trust myself to stick to this project -- which I honestly began as a whim, during a burst of sentimentality.

But I haven't stopped, and I don't plan on stopping, and I'm enjoying myself more than I ever thought I would.  So I guess it's time to address a vital question:  what's the point of BeastPedia?  Does it have a real purpose?  Is it just a vanity?  Does the world need another crypid blog?  After much soul-searching (okay, it was 20 minutes in the shower) I believe I've come up with some answers.  And so without further ado, behold:  my justification for why BeastPedia exists!

Personal Reasons:

  1. My ego.  I'm not gonna lie -- the fact that people read this blog has something to do with why I write it.  About thirty of you log on every day -- twenty-eight, if you don't include my mom and girlfriend!  Thinking about that makes me want to write; makes me want to put more information out there for people who are interested.  It's flattering to have your voice heard, and it encourages you to keep speaking!
  2. My penance for crappy posts.  The entries I wrote five years ago, when I first started this blog, were really not very good.  I was a high-school freshman, so I think I can be forgiven -- but I don't like the idea of people using my poor-quality stuff as a source.  I think this blog can be a valuable resource (more on that later), but only if I patch up my sloppy youthful writings.
  3. It helps me learn.  A good bit of research goes into each article I write -- my posts only include a fraction of the stuff I read.  So while I create posts for this blog, I'm teaching myself ever more about cryptozoology.  Updating BeastPedia is a constructive way to study a subject I love.
Legitimate Reasons:
  1. It strikes a middle ground.  I find that a lot of cryptid resoures are either extremely shallow or extremely detailed.  The former doesn't tell you much; the latter drowns you with information.  My goal isn't to be an exhaustive resource -- it's to provide a solid foundation; to give you a good summary of each cryptid I describe.  If you want to read more, I always give you the links!  BeastPedia is a starting point from which your knowledge can expand.
  2. It's firmly rational.  Cryptozoology is, or should be, a scientific discipline.  I wince when I see cryptids on paranormal sites; these are possibly-real animals which should be studied as such.  On BeastPedia, I try to give you a logical analysis of each beast.  I give plausible explanations for outlandish monsters, and explain which are most likely.  Everything I write is based in reason and probability -- and I try, at all times, to promote a zoological viewing of cryptids.
  3. It fills notable gaps.  Entire books have been written about some cryptids -- but others are scarcely known.  Just today I wrote about the Lau, about which all of our knowledge can be crammed into a paragraph.  Even when there's little information, BeastPedia uses science to expand upon it -- providing context, scientific discussion, and a theoretical framework with which to analyze the beast.  Obviously, I can't add much to discussions about Bigfoot -- but when it comes to the Lau or the Canvey Island Monster, maybe I can.
In essence, my mission statement is this:  I want BeastPedia to be like the encyclopedias after which it's named.  I don't want it to be exhaustive or in-depth, but I want it to be accurate.  I want it to give you the basics -- clearly, simply and rationally.  It may not be the last site you turn to -- but I want it to be the first.

That's definitely an overambitious goal -- especially for a blog celebrating its first month.  And who knows, maybe I won't keep posting forever.  Honestly, I'm a busy person -- I write all my articles on the weekends, posting them one by one during the school-week.  Someday I may even lack the time for that.  For now, though, I'm going to keep writing.  I'm going to make BeastPedia the best blog I can, and I hope my faithful thirty viewers keep enjoying it.  Thanks for reading!

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